Knocking on Hangar Doors

MachinistMate

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Hello everyone,

I thought about posting this in the Job Situations Wanted section but figured it's topical and really specific so I'm hoping someone can help me out here.

About a year ago I posted a question on here about UAA's Professional Piloting Program and have finally applied for admission and awaiting a response. I separate from the Navy in March and have plane tickets booked and anything that I can't take on the plane or mailed for a reasonable cost lined up to be sold or distributed.

My goal is to eventually fly professionally in Alaska but I need to get my foot in the door. UAA has the aviation facility at Merrill Field so I was thinking about trying to knock on some doors there to get part time work while in school and network. I'm just looking for general labor/help type work to start with, anything really just to get my foot in the door somewhere, (sweep the hangar, answer phones, take out trash etc.) Are there any opportunities available in that respect? I'm willing to do whatever it takes to get in. I am an engineer in the Navy so I have plenty of mechanical experience both professionally and personally if that helps at all. The plan is that when I graduate and have built up some time I will have some contacts and a good reputation established.

Any tips, tricks, or recommendations about scoring some part time work in the industry around Merrill Field or even Lake Hood would be greatly appreciated.

Ill be using the Post 9/11 GI Bill, coming up with my girlfriend and some money in the bank. Our flight up is the first week of March.

Thanks
 

Aztoak2

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Lake Clark Air is a great bunch of folks and is a 2 minute walk from UAA at Merril.
 

AK-HUNT

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It won't be easy road but u sound focused. I think if you walk around Merrill with that attitude you will find work. Plenty of growing ops there. If you have a good hard work ethic you will be ok. Make sure you post if u can't find something. We like to take care of our vets.

And GOOD LUCK

ps nothing in your career field qualifies u for A&P?? That'd be a big plus.
 

MachinistMate

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Unfortunately not, my rate is specific to steam plants and auxiliary equipment, nothing on the aviation side.
 

rppearso

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If you are a licenced mechanical engineer I would just get a job as an engineer and use that income to finance your flying. I love flying buy hate the aviation "industry". It is helasiously clickish and you would probably have an easier time getting a job at lawerance livermore national labs than getting a 80-100k year stable flying gig here in AK. The market is absolutly saturated with pilots, it is the quintesential perfect hobbie/job mix, alot of people have a passion for flying and want to make their passion their job resulting in the saturation. Also the barriers to entry are not particularly high. Getting a commercial cert is not hard its just really really expensive due to the costs of operating an air craft.

The only people that I know who do well in aviation are people that have some substantial stream of income comming in from somewhere else (real estate, investments, mommy and daddy/trust fund, well paying job completely unrelated to aviation, etc). Also if you dont have 30,000 hrs and try to assert any sort of knowlage and dont sweep the ground where the 30,000 hr guys walk you will be looked at with extreme contempt like a old time black southern slave. If you dont make your living in aviation and just fly for fun you can afford to tell people to get bent.

Just my observations of Alaska aviation.
 

Monguse

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Apparently rppearso failed to notice that you have the GI Bill, are enrolled in UAA's professional piloting program and
that the expense of your flying education is being taken care of by the GI Bill. You should have no trouble getting a job
as a ramp rat or expediter, or if at Lake Hood, a dock hand, expediter or maybe even an office person of some sort.
In any event Anchorage has the biggest aviation community in the state. So with your attitude and personality, you will
make many friends in the aviation community as you pursue your career.


Many of the people you meet will be in a position to help you, once you attain the necessary certs and time logged to
be a viable candidate for a flying job. At some point after you have acquired your commercial, instrument and multi-engine
certification, it might behoove you to get your Cerified Flight Instructor- instruments (CFI-I) for single and multi-engine.
At some point a seaplane rating might eventually be helpful. Just keep in mind that most Alaska flying service operators
require a minimum of 1000 hours. So with that said, when your GI Bill is used up and you have gotten a flight instructor
certificate, you can teach to build time and get paid for it.


There are a few who will hire someone who has only the basic experience to fly as pilot
in command under Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135 (FARs Part 135) That minimum experience is 500 hours. 100 hours
of that 500 hours has to be cross country time and of that 100 hours 25 hours has to be night cross country.
Each cross-country flight used to meet the aeronautical experience requirements under 14 CFR 61.1(b)(3) must
include one leg that includes a landing that is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the
original point of departure. Anyway, best of luck to you.


I'm a navy vet too, but that was more than 50 years ago.
 

rppearso

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Hopefully the active duty GI bill covers the flight time becuase the Alaska national guard did not. The flight time is where all the expense is and if the GI bill covers it thats great. Also make sure you have a proper introduction before you talk to someone, people in the aviation community alot dont take too kindly to just being randomly approached. There are some great folks in aviation and the ones that are not will stand out, unfortunatly they are not a minority.

Although now that I think about it I did not really have any problems in the aviation community until I became an aircraft owner. IF you ever own a plane everyone thinks your bill gates and they treat you accordingly (which is not a good thing, unless you really do have unlimited money to throw around, then everyone is your friend). It takes alot of time to find good aviation maintence people, but if you are flying for hire you let the owner deal with those sorts of uncomfortable things. If you try to put the breaks on some of these mechanics bill rates or total hours for things that are not rocket science things get sour real quick, maybe im the only air craft owner in all of alaska that does not have millions in a bank to just pay mechanics what ever they decide.

Apparently rppearso failed to notice that you have the GI Bill, are enrolled in UAA's professional piloting program and
that the expense of your flying education is being taken care of by the GI Bill. You should have no trouble getting a job
as a ramp rat or expediter, or if at Lake Hood, a dock hand, expediter or maybe even an office person of some sort.
In any event Anchorage has the biggest aviation community in the state. So with your attitude and personality, you will
make many friends in the aviation community as you pursue your career.


Many of the people you meet will be in a position to help you, once you attain the necessary certs and time logged to
be a viable candidate for a flying job. At some point after you have acquired your commercial, instrument and multi-engine
certification, it might behoove you to get your Cerified Flight Instructor- instruments (CFI-I) for single and multi-engine.
At some point a seaplane rating might eventually be helpful. Just keep in mind that most Alaska flying service operators
require a minimum of 1000 hours. So with that said, when your GI Bill is used up and you have gotten a flight instructor
certificate, you can teach to build time and get paid for it.


There are a few who will hire someone who has only the basic experience to fly as pilot
in command under Federal Aviation Regulations Part 135 (FARs Part 135) That minimum experience is 500 hours. 100 hours
of that 500 hours has to be cross country time and of that 100 hours 25 hours has to be night cross country.
Each cross-country flight used to meet the aeronautical experience requirements under 14 CFR 61.1(b)(3) must
include one leg that includes a landing that is at least a straight-line distance of more than 50 nautical miles from the
original point of departure. Anyway, best of luck to you.


I'm a navy vet too, but that was more than 50 years ago.
 

Monguse

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rppearso,

You're speaking from your own personal experience regarding your interactions with members of the Alaska aviation community. What you generate in reactions from other pilots regardless of owning an airplane, whether you're poor, rich or somewhere in between has nothing to do with how people react to others. People in Alaska tend to react to the personality of each individual they meet, not to their relative wealth or what they own. There are exceptions.
 

algonquin

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RPPEARSO, thanks for your post, everytime I read your post it reassures me I'm not getting to be a cranky old guy. I hope you are like 90 yrs old, no young guy should be so bitter. It seem so much in aviation make you angry that I wonder why you are involved at all. My career had lots of up and downs but I never got to the point of anger everytime I discuss anything related to aviation. To the young guys and girls starting out, my last commercial flight was as much fun and enjoyable as my first over 30 years before, live the dream and don't listen to neg. Stuff , it can drag you down.
 

rppearso

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That is true I do live the dream and so should the OP

RPPEARSO, thanks for your post, everytime I read your post it reassures me I'm not getting to be a cranky old guy. I hope you are like 90 yrs old, no young guy should be so bitter. It seem so much in aviation make you angry that I wonder why you are involved at all. My career had lots of up and downs but I never got to the point of anger everytime I discuss anything related to aviation. To the young guys and girls starting out, my last commercial flight was as much fun and enjoyable as my first over 30 years before, live the dream and don't listen to neg. Stuff , it can drag you down.
 

Bearsnack

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If you are a licenced mechanical engineer I would just get a job as an engineer and use that income to finance your flying. I love flying buy hate the aviation "industry". It is helasiously clickish and you would probably have an easier time getting a job at lawerance livermore national labs than getting a 80-100k year stable flying gig here in AK. The market is absolutly saturated with pilots, it is the quintesential perfect hobbie/job mix, alot of people have a passion for flying and want to make their passion their job resulting in the saturation. Also the barriers to entry are not particularly high. Getting a commercial cert is not hard its just really really expensive due to the costs of operating an air craft.

The only people that I know who do well in aviation are people that have some substantial stream of income comming in from somewhere else (real estate, investments, mommy and daddy/trust fund, well paying job completely unrelated to aviation, etc). Also if you dont have 30,000 hrs and try to assert any sort of knowlage and dont sweep the ground where the 30,000 hr guys walk you will be looked at with extreme contempt like a old time black southern slave. If you dont make your living in aviation and just fly for fun you can afford to tell people to get bent.

Just my observations of Alaska aviation.

Then sell your airplane and get out of it!
I am tired of listening to you run down Alaska Aviation on this forum.
To the OP: There are plenty of kind hearted, good people up here to work for that will help you move up the ladder in aviation.
I started just like you did with the GI bill 20 years ago and I do not regret a minute of it.
No risk, no gain. Pursue your dream and let the nay sayers regret their lives and the way they lived.
 

eviens

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If you are a licenced mechanical engineer I would just get a job as an engineer and use that income to finance your flying. I love flying buy hate the aviation "industry". It is helasiously clickish and you would probably have an easier time getting a job at lawerance livermore national labs than getting a 80-100k year stable flying gig here in AK. The market is absolutly saturated with pilots, it is the quintesential perfect hobbie/job mix, alot of people have a passion for flying and want to make their passion their job resulting in the saturation. Also the barriers to entry are not particularly high. Getting a commercial cert is not hard its just really really expensive due to the costs of operating an air craft.

The only people that I know who do well in aviation are people that have some substantial stream of income comming in from somewhere else (real estate, investments, mommy and daddy/trust fund, well paying job completely unrelated to aviation, etc). Also if you dont have 30,000 hrs and try to assert any sort of knowlage and dont sweep the ground where the 30,000 hr guys walk you will be looked at with extreme contempt like a old time black southern slave. If you dont make your living in aviation and just fly for fun you can afford to tell people to get bent.

Just my observations of Alaska aviation.

MachinistMate don't listen to this negative BS,I have been a pilot for 45 years and have over 30,000 hours and loved every minute of it.
My three sons are also pilots, two of them went to UAA through the aviation program. I started flying a PA11 in the Brooks Range because I got tired of snow shoeing on the trapline. The first time I flew that PA11 I fell in love and have never looked back. Last September I Retired from flying large aircraft and you know I still got goosebumps when I lined up on the runway for takeoff. Live your dream and don't let anything negative change your mind.
Best of Luck Ernie.
 

AK-HUNT

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From your posts, it sounds more like a nightmare...

No doubt. I'm glad rrpearso has hijacked another thread with his victim garbage.

Machinist mate
You should be able to see the attitude that probably WONT get u a lot of help.
Keep focused, work harder than the other guys and you will be fine. Hard to beat gettin paid to fly and/or wrench on planes IMO. And doing so in Alaska is icing on the cake.
 

MachinistMate

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What hull number (s) did you serve on Snipe... ???
USS Mason DDG 87

Thanks for the encouragement and words of wisdom every body. I think my girl is more excited about this adventure more than I am, and it was my idea! We're really looking forward to exploring what the state has to offer.
 

Old John

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USS Mason DDG 87

Thanks for the encouragement and words of wisdom every body. I think my girl is more excited about this adventure more than I am, and it was my idea! We're really looking forward to exploring what the state has to offer.

Thank You for your Service MM, and welcome to Alaska, You'll do just fine...
(USN Ret}
 

Float Pilot

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Machinist-mate,
How does it work out for a Steam-Bender on a gas turbine powered Arleigh Burke class ?? Did they have aux steam systems?
Many moons ago I spent 6 years haze gray and underway on the USS Valdez FF-1096. We had a 1200 psi main propulsion system and pretty much ran everything with the magic of steam. Lots of life long pals were snipes.
 

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